• Feature

    Story Highlights

    • Two notable global tourism business interests have partnered with the Jamaica-based Amaterra Group to undertake a comprehensive multibillion-dollar resort development on 1,000 acres of land at Sterling Castle, near Duncans in Trelawny.
    • Tourism and Leisure Development International (TLDI) and Rexton Capital Partners Limited have thrown their support behind project initiator, Amaterra Group Chairman and developer, Keith Russell, and wife, Paula Russell.
    • The other principals are TLDI owner, Francisco Fuentes; and Rexton’s co-heads, Mustapha Deria and Guillermo Velasco.

    Two notable global tourism business interests have partnered with the Jamaica-based Amaterra Group to undertake a comprehensive multibillion-dollar resort development on 1,000 acres of land at Sterling Castle, near Duncans in Trelawny.

    Tourism and Leisure Development International (TLDI) and Rexton Capital Partners Limited have thrown their support behind project initiator, Amaterra Group Chairman and developer, Keith Russell, and wife, Paula Russell.

    The other principals are TLDI owner, Francisco Fuentes; and Rexton’s co-heads, Mustapha Deria and Guillermo Velasco.

    The overall project is earmarked to provide approximately 8,000 additional hotel rooms to the local stock.

    Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, recently broke ground for the development’s initial phase – an 800-room luxury resort.

    TLDI is a beachfront resort development firm that provides turnkey construction, and project and development management services to select hospitality projects in the Caribbean and other international destinations.

    TLDI’s recent project experience in the region includes over 5,000 rooms delivered, representing more than US$1 billion dollars of investments for clients such as Playa Hotels and Resorts, Apple Leisure Group, Karisma Hotels and Resorts, and Barcelo Hotels and Resorts.

    Rexton provides financial oversight and manages investor relations for the Amaterra Group.

    Relying on its network of experienced international investors, Rexton provides Amaterra with access to the capital partnerships, tailored to drive the successful development of the company’s land holdings.

    Rexton principal, Mustapha Deria, sits on the Investment Board of one of Qatar’s royal family member’s private investment office.

    In this capacity, Mr. Deria is responsible for identifying, evaluating, and spearheading investments in Qatar’s local and overseas hospitality interests.

    Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, Mr. Russell said the 800-room resort forms the first of two phases that will yield 1,200 rooms.

    The second, he indicated, will entail development of another 400 rooms, while adding that both phases will generate direct employment for 3,200 persons, and another 2,000 indirect jobs.

    Mr. Russell said the development’s concept is one incorporating an “integrated approach” encompassing agriculture, manufacturing, business process outsourcing (BPO), and retail attractions.

    “The completed Amaterra Group project will include resorts, entertainment facilities, theme parks, a pedestrian town centre, manufacturing facilities and special economic zones,” he further indicated.

    Prime Minister Holness, who delivered the keynote address, said it is now an opportune time for more investors to tap into emerging development opportunities in Jamaica, particularly in tourism, noting that “the trajectory of the industry’s value is going to take off rapidly”.

    “The opportunities here are great. We are now in that phase where we are seeking to reimagine Jamaica’s tourism as a high-value, high-quality destination. We have all the elements to achieve that and we are working towards it. Now is the time for investors to get in,” he added.

    For his part, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon Audley Shaw, cited similar investment opportunities in agriculture.

    “A few miles from here, the Government has 13,000 acres of land that used to be in sugar. Applications are flowing in for thousands of acres, and those 13,000 acres by the end of this year must be in full production,” he declared.

    Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, in thanking the Amaterra Group for their vision, said his Ministry is focusing on creating an industry that “involves the integration of more communities”.

    “One of the visions is to establish a tourism integration development arrangement that will be embodied in something called a Tourism Innovation City,” he indicated.

    The Minister said the objective of the innovation city is to enable resorts and attractions to become “the fulcrum around which the economic and social development of the communities around [them] is predicated”.

    “I can tell you that we have some great plans for the Rose Hall, St. James, area… something which is akin to what is taking place here in Trelawny,” Mr. Bartlett added.